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Camping with Kids - Tips for Tent Camping for RV Families with Children

Camping with kids, including tent camping, is part of the RVing experience for many families. These tips, put together by a s'mores lover, are sure to help your kids and grand children love camping.

Tips for Camping with Kids

If you're like me, you can recall some great childhood experiences that took place under the stars while roasting marshmallows at a campfire. Camping was one of my best experiences as a kid, and I'm sure every child would benefit from an adventure under the velvet night sky in a tent far away from home.

If you have kids, introduce them to nature so they, too, can enjoy the outdoors and develop fond memories. Below are some tips to help you help your kids start down the path of camping, hiking, and outdoor fun.

1. Get the Kids Involved From the Start

Let your kids help you with planning and organizing the camping trip. This means working with them to discover activities that they'd enjoy. Will your kids want to go swimming, hiking, boating, horseback riding, or bicycling? Let them decide the itinerary and look for a place where you can do all those activities. In addition, include them in meal planning and supply shopping. Essentially, make your kids part of the process...allow them to "own" the experience from the very beginning.

2. Practice Camping in Your Backyard

If your kids have no idea what it's like to go camping, then show them. Schedule a weekend where the whole family can camp out in the backyard at night. Teach them how to pitch a tent and cook dinner outdoors. In addition, to further the enjoyment, bring some s'mores, and don't forget to roast marshmallows over the fire. Through "warm up camping," not only will you prepare your kids for the real thing, you'll also get them excited for their upcoming outdoor adventure!

3. Forgo Nutrition … For a Little While

Camping with the kids should be all about letting them have fun, so why not bring the food they are generally not allowed to eat at home and in school? For example, allow them hotdogs, roasted marshmallows, hot chocolate, and, of course, the ultimate favorite of every kid camper - s'mores!

4. Keep Everyone Happy with a Good Night's Sleep

Kids tend to get cranky and unmotivated when they aren't able to sleep well, so make sure you pack camping gear for getting comfortable inside the tent. This doesn't necessarily mean overpriced cartoon character themed sleeping bags. Rather, look towards the essentials - a good sleeping pad, thick blankets, and a warm sleeping bag, which often means one that's made from down feathers.

5. Safety First

Your kids won't be able to enjoy the camping trip if they develop an infection, allergy, or require a trip to the nearest hospital because they've eaten poisonous berries. So before you even head out the door, teach your kids about outdoor safety. Show them, for example, pictures of plants to avoid. In addition, it's also a good idea to arm each of your kids with a whistle so, in times of emergency, they can easily and quickly alert you that they need help.

Follow these basic tips to help your kids develop a healthy love of nature. They will thank you for it later!


Nicole Becker, author of this article on camping with kids, contributes to, where you can read her reviews on hiking in state parks as well as her article on CANDISC 2011.

Go to the page that indexes other tips for and stories about RV camping with kids.

Go to the RV Life and Travel blog from this page of tips for camping with kids.

Go to the RV Life and Travel home page to find more articles about RVs, RV camping, and full-time RVing.

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